DJ: Online pranks, a bank balance out of control, dogged by fan fury ... Stockbridge had to go

LIKE many Rangers supporters, I have little understanding of how the finances of a major company work.

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Guilty as charged...Brian Stockbridge and former chief executive Craig Mather must take the blame for the financial decisions that have taken Gers back to the financial abyss
Guilty as charged...Brian Stockbridge and former chief executive Craig Mather must take the blame for the financial decisions that have taken Gers back to the financial abyss

Way too complex.

But I have no doubts, none whatsoever, that getting rid of Brian Stockbridge was the right decision for the Ibrox club.

For me, his job was untenable the minute the infamous video of former club chairman Malcolm Murray went up on You Tube last year.

For somebody in a position of responsibility at a large organisation to do something like that just beggars belief.

No, the second that footage of Malcolm leaving that London restaurant went online he should have been out the door.

Whether it was the financial director or somebody else - and the word is that it was another party - who actually uploaded it on to the internet is unimportant.

The fact is that the footage he took ended up in the public domain and the chairman lost his job as a result of it.

Then, over and above that whole sorry affair, you have the disastrous financial performance of Rangers during Stockbridge's tenure.

As I say, the workings of big business is not an area of great expertise for me.

But you do not have to be Lord Sugar to conclude that all did not go well on that front during his time at the club.

Rangers are, as we have been told, currently losing in the region of £1million a month.

There will, Stockbridge himself has previously revealed, be just £1m left in the bank in a few months' time.

Yet Rangers still went out and signed nine new players, the majority of them experienced professionals, during the summer. Yes, there were no transfer fees involved. They were all free agents. But they were still brought in on decent money.

Now let's be honest here. Craig Mather, the former chief executive, sanctioned all of the signings and ultimately the responsibility for the consequences of the recruitment drive lie with him.

But surely the financial director should have looked at the bank balance, then looked ahead and said: "We cannot afford to do this!"

Rangers were operating at a substantial loss and they still increased the wage bill substantially by bringing in the likes of Cammy Bell, Jon Daly and Nicky Law on good money.

Stockbridge should have alerted the board to the impending crisis. He should have refused to condone the signings. He could have left the club in protest. Simple as that.

I have friends who are accountants. They also point to the fact Stockbridge predicted Rangers would make a loss of £7m in the financial year.

But when the figures were finally announced, it transpires the club has lost £14m! How can you be £7m out?

He had to accept responsibility for that and other things -like taking a £200,000 bonus for Rangers winning the Third Division, a move that enraged Ibrox fans - and it appears that finally he has.

Graham Wallace, the current chief executive, has gone in to the club, looked at the books, spoke to people involved and listened to what they had to say.

He has clearly reached the conclusion this had to happen for the club and their supporters to move forward together.

Hopefully, this development, along with the meetings that Graham has held with fans in the last week, will help.

Fresh investment is clearly needed. But what is most important is that the club hierarchy and the fans are united in getting Rangers back into the top flight.

Graham is trying to sort out the mess he has inherited. The last thing he needs, though, is supporters refusing to buy season tickets due to nagging doubts - and understandable ones given some of those who have been in positions of authority in the last couple of years - about those who are involved on the board.


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